Bridge of Birds

Barry Hughart
Bridge of Birds Cover

Bridge of Birds: A Novel of an Ancient China That Never Was


My full review can be found at:

I had a lot of trouble finding into this book. My suspicion is that it is much more accessible for people with any knowledge of ancient Chinese mythology. Since my knowledge was limited to a movie adaptation of "Journey to the West" I am sure I missed at least half the tongue-in-cheek references to other tales and legends.

But even without knowing anything about Chinese mythology, this can be enjoyed purely for the fun. Master Li, a wise man with a slight flaw in his character, and Number Ten Ox, travel around China, meet a delightful group of people, solve mysteries, break curses, and get almost killed more than once. Despite the slimness of this novel, there were edge-of-your-seat momentso f action, little moments of depth and many, many quotable bits.

Once I knew what kind of story I had stumbled into, I could thorougly enjoy it. I laughed, I was shocked, and I tried guessing along with Master Li. A highly recommended, wonderfully fresh fantasy novel (despite its publication in 1985) that should be enjoyed by any fantasy fan who likes fun.